My first trip in over two years on a plane and into Europe, I was so excited. I get excited when I am on new adventures and travelling to somewhere new! When booking my trip to Malta I had planned just to goto Valletta but on reading about Malta, the island of Gozo really appealed to me! So I booked a two centred holiday, I really think this is a good way of travelling and you can compare and contrast and explore!
We had booked through Trailfinders based in the United Kingdom. I have travelled with before and had transfers included which is good if you are travelling around a bit! We were met by a friendly taxi Gozotan called Freddie at the airport. He was driving us from the airport to the ferry terminal where we got a ferry over to Gozo. He was a lovely man and so knowledgeable and so proud of his island and he took us across the countryside and showed us the limestone dry-stoned walls and some lovely churches and gave us some good pointers! He showed us where Popeye- the live action ‘cult movie’ from the 1980s with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall was filmed, the set has been kept and people can visit, to be honest, I wouldn’t bother but it made me laugh and I took a photo.
We went past Melliha beach which is known for it’s surfing and then went to the ferry terminal and got on the ferry. After being on the plane and in the airport it was lovely to feel the sea breeze on my face. I love the sea and boats and reminded me of my holidays on the ferry to Ireland from England. You can’t beat Mother Nature and taking in the night views . We went past Comino island which is known for the Blue Lagoon which is a key tourist site to visit, you can get a boat to it from the mainland and Gozo. I love talking to locals and Freddie said that with the colour of the sky in April he said it wouldn’t be wise to visit the Blue Lagoon as we wouldn’t see the turquoise blues that the Blue Lagoon is known for as seen on instagram and Tiktok videos. He said the Summer is meant to be better for that. Always talk to the locals! That’s one of my tips!
We arrived in Mggar Harbour, Gozo and it was so lovely seeing the island at night. We drove from the harbour to Xghara where we were staying. The hotel we stayed in was rustic and we had exquisite views of the island, we could see across to the main town Victoria aka Rabat’s Citadell from our room! The people were lovely at the hotel and the beds were comfy.
The next day, we walked into the town of Xghara, it was so pretty with a Baroque Church which is dedicated to The Nativity of the Blessed Mary.
There was a lovely square where you could get a coffee and watch the world go by, or have a libation and some small plates of food. People were friendly. We did not hire a car, we saw no point. We got a bus into Victoria which is the main town on Gozo which cost 2 euros, if you get a bus ticket on the bus your bus ticket is only valid for 2 hours. You can pay cash or contactless. It is best to get a weekly card if you are staying more than a few days. There is a bus station in Victoria and a ticket office where you can get a bus pass called Tallinja. The Tallinja is a 7 day pass, it costs 21 euro and is like a contactless card. I was delighted as the man in the office thought I was a student, so it was a win win situation. Here’s the link; Malta Public Transport .
We walked upto the Citadel which was impressive and there were narrow streets with balconies on the buildings.
There were shops selling jewellery and places to eat. I did think you had to have your wits about you around the bus terminal and some of the narrow streets. We followed the sign to the Citadel which was a fort, we went to the office where there was an exhibition for 5 euro but we enquired about the Citadel and it was free! Walking in the sunshine up the steep steps took you upto a Church and lovely viewpoints all over the island. The sun was shining down on the limestone bricks and the Church bells were ringing and there were gekos climbing the walls. I couldn’t think of the name of the reptiles and instead said Gnu’s, oh I did laugh, imagine if you could see Gnu’s who are like deer climbing the walls of the fort! That would be a sight to behold! Make sure you take plenty of photographs, plenty of nice scenery.
We stopped on a rooftop cafe in the sunshine and sat by the cannons and had a glass of Cisk, a Maltese beer which was tasty. The owner was a bit of a geezer but funny all the same, I asked for a mixed shared plate for my party and we had baked Gozo sheep cheese in breadcrumbs, Gozoitan filo pastries with onion and some salad with a mango chutney sauce and some chips. A lovely and filling meze plate in the sunshine. After we had this lovely lunch we sauntered down and explored Victoria a little more. The locals call Victoria it’s real name Rabat. Rabat was named as Victoria after Queen Victoria had visited there. The bus station in Victoria is the main travel hub where you can access buses across the island to the Mgaar Harbour.
We travelled back to Xghara where there is a Ta Kola Windmill and there Ġgantija megalithic temples which date back to the year 3600BC and the Xagħra Stone Circle. You can visit there. The temples are before Stonehenge in England. If you are interested in archaeology then you should visit.
We visited Ramla Bay which is known for it’s famous beach with orange sand! It is lovely and not over commercialised, it was off-peak when we were there but it was so tranquil. Ramla Beach is on the bus route too, so you don’t have to wait a long time for the bus either.
After visiting Ramla Bay we went back towards Victoria and got a bus to the harbour and we had lunch by marina. We sampled local seafood, Gozo cheese and took in the lovely views. There were some of the famous fishing boats. One scene I didn’t expect to see were some racing horses having their hydrotherapy in the sea! There is a racecourse on Gozo.
We got a taxi back to Xaghra and had a lovely taxi ride and spoke to the driver about the effect the pandemic has had on tourism etc.
I definitely recommend you go to visit Gozo, especially if you want to explore and have a relaxed time. I love how everything is laidback and the food is nice too. I’m a linguist and found the Maltese language interesting as there are many influences such as arabic, latin and much more. People from Lebanon who were known as the Venetians can understand Maltese. Everyone can speak English and the buses are great for transporting yourself around the island. I found the food was reasonable and I enjoyed trying local food and produce. The weather was good, a tad windy in the evenings so remember to wear some layers.